Summer pudding – mum’s recipe :)


As I still had a load of summer fruits left I thought I’d try one of my mum’s favourite summer recipes – Summer Pudding!

You can use any fruits you like – I had a few gooseberries and red currants left so they went in, along with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.

You will need:

  • Approx 500 – 750g fruit (best to make more as you can always have any excess for brekkie or pud with some yoghurt etc)
  • Sugar to taste (I used none as my fruit was all really sweet but up to you)
  • A small white loaf (a day old so its slightly stale)

Put berries that have tough skins (blackcurrants,  cherries , gooseberries etc) into pan with small amount of sugar if needed and a little water.  Heat gently until berries soften and juices run.

Leave to cool for a few mins and then add soft fruit – raspberries, blackberries, strawberries etc and stir, gently.  If required you can add more sugar to taste.

Cut medium slices of white bread (one day old) and remove crusts.

Line a pudding basin with clingfilm cut larger than the basin.  Cut the bread into shape to line the basin with a disc for the base.

Drain the fruit, saving the juices in a separate bowl. Dip the bread into the juices and place the bread around the inside of the basin, plugging any holes with small pieces of bread. Pack the cooled fruit well into the basin.

Put a larger disc of bread (or several pieces cut to shape) on the top.

Overlap the cling film to cover the top of the bread.  Put a saucer or small plate on the top and weigh down with a tin or similar weight to compress the fruit.

Chill overnight, then turn out and serve with more fruit and yoghurt!

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Enjoy! Xx

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Easy Freezey Fruity Greek Yoghurt


I was very excited to spot the first blackberries of the year today so I had to pick them! We also had a small haul of gooseberries and red currants from the garden, and some other berries left over from last week so I thought i’d whip up a quick summery treat with them!

You can use any fruit you like in this and you could even add nuts, seeds or desiccated coconut etc too! It makes a fab low calorie healthy summer treat! This recipe made 14 little bars for me and they came in at about 25 calories each!

You will need:

A tub of Greek yoghurt (I used the 0% one, you can also use a dairy free option)

A couple of handfuls of fruit (approx 100 – 200g but it depends on the fruit)

Optional sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup, sugar free syrup etc)

If it needs it then chop the fruit up into small pieces, remove any stalks, pips etc. Empty the Greek yoghurt into a bowl and add some of the fruit and stir really well until well mixed.

You want the fruit to be well coated so start with a little at a time and keep adding until you the fruit is coated and there’s a bit of excess yoghurt too. If you plan to use sweetener add it in now too (I didn’t as I like the tartness of the yoghurt and the fruit added enough sweetness for me).

Line a small tray with parchment paper and then spoon the yoghurt mixture in. Smooth down to a layer approx 1 – 1.5cm thick. If you have extra you can pop it in bowls for a healthy snack, brekkie or pud!

Place a layer of cling film over the top and then pop in the freezer for a couple of hours until set! Slice and store in a tupperware box in the freezer for an easy ice cream alternative.

Then enjoy!

Xx

Wild blackberry Banana N’ice cream


That time of year has come around again – wild blackberry foraging time!  We went for a lovely walk yesterday and got a huge box full so I thought I’d better start using them.

The sun was shining earlier and that obviously put me in the mood for ice cream so I whipped up a quick batch of wild blackberry n’ice cream.

Super easy as always – you just need  3 – 4 frozen bananas (peeled and chopped before freezing) and a good handful of blackberries. Pop the bananas in the blender (a high speed one) and blitz until they start to form a creamy mixture. Throw the blackberries in and blitz again. I like to leave some of the blackberries as pieces so I don’t blitz fully but it’t up to you.

Delicious as it is, or even better sprinkled with my cinnamon spiced coconut caramelised nuts (recipe here). Enjoy!

Fossil Fuel bars – a review 


As you know,  i’m always on the lookout for new healthy snacks and bars. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of trying some new energy bars – Fossil Fuel bars. These bars are paleo friendly bars made of fruit and nuts and are a fantastic on the go refuel option. Although not certified gluten free or vegan they don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients in them, or dairy or other animal products so are perfect for anyone avoiding those things.

They’re made by a small UK-based company and the creators are keen fitness fanatics so definitely on my wavelength 🙂

They have two flavours – coconut and cashew, and cocoa and macadamia.

Both are really yummy – they’re packed with dates for sweetness and nuts for valuable protein and energy. I had them as my afternoon snack before my evening classes and they both hit the spot. The cocoa and macadamia one is definitely my favourite – it’s so moreish but also really satisfying. Neither is too sweet and they are both really filling. They make a great option if you want something healthier as a snack or even a brekkie if you’re rushing out the door and need something to grab. If you’re craving chocolate I’d definitely recommend the cocoa and macadamia one!

These are most definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a healthy snack on the go. Do check them out and let me know what you think. They’re available from their website :  https://www.wearefossilfuel.co.uk

Almond Caramel N’ice Cream – quick, healthy and delicious


You can never have too much n’ice cream! Dairy, gluten and added sugar free – this is guilt free loveliness. I think this may be my favourite flavour yet! This is really scrummy and tastes divine. It doesn’t need any extra sugar as the bananas and date caramel give it tonnes of rich sweetness and creaminess. It’s also pretty quick to make. I usually make up a big batch of the date caramel so I can use it for other stuff (or just eat it by the spoonful!).


You will need:

8 – 10 Medjool dates (this will create extra caramel so reduce if you don’t want any spare)

1 tbsp Almond butter

1 tbsp hot Water

4 frozen bananas

Handful almonds

Drizzle of coconut, maple or date syrup

It’s best if you peel and slice your bananas for freezing as it makes it easier for the blender to handle so make sure your bananas are well frozen first.

First caramelise the almonds. Pop the almonds into a dry frying pan, add a good drizzle of maple, coconut or date syrup and heat. You need to keep an eye on this – you want it to start to bubble and thicken but not burn. Keep stirring so they don’t catch. Once the syrup is reduced down and they’re well coated tip them out in to some baking paper and allow to cool. You can break them apart once cool.

  

Then make the caramel. Chop the dates and pop in to a high speed blender together with the almond butter. Depending on how dry your dates are you may not need all the water so start with half. Process well, adding the rest of the water if necessary, until you have a smooth caramel. Remove this from the blender (don’t worry about getting every last bit out and there’s no need to clean the blender).

Pop your frozen bananas in to the blender and pulse to blend the banana. Once it’s almost smooth add a tablespoon or so of the caramel back in to the blender with the bananas (add as much as you want – to taste). Blend well and then serve with the almonds sprinkled in top. If you want to serve it later freeze in small portions (plastic food bags or ice cube trays work best) and reblend briefly before serving to remove any large ice crystals.


ZooT energy and protein bars – a review


Those of you that know me know I’m always racing about between fitness classes etc and often I need something that’s quick and easy to munch on for a boost. I was very excited to discover these fab little bars from ZooTfoods. I was even more excited when they sent me some to review! woohoo!

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ZooT bars are fab little snack bars for anyone who wants to snack sensibly and have something healthy to grab on the go. They have 9 delicious flavours in 3 types and they’re all gluten free, and most are dairy free (except the banana choc chip and choc n’ orange) so there’s plenty of choice.

– ZooT BoosT – these are designed to give you an energy boost and include banana choc chip, choc ‘n’ orange and cranberry crush.

– ZooT EndurO – these are designed to give you longer lasting energy and so are packed with protein too. The flavours are brazil nut carnival, cashew supreme and roasty toasty hazelnut.

– ZooT FrooT – packed with 70% fruit, these are designed to give you one of your 5 a day, but also to be low calorie. The flavours are berry burst, pear ‘n’ ginger and tropical bliss

In fact all of the bars are under 200 cals so are a great option if you’re watching your calories too. 🙂

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I really loved these bars. The BoosT ones are absolutely perfect for me just before I teach a class – they’re light enough not to make you feel heavy or sick, low calorie and really do give you an energy boost. I love the fact that you they have the choice of banana and chocolate, chocolate orange and something fruity with the cranberry crush.

The banana choc one is great – not overly banana-y but yummy. Bananas are a classic food of choice for energy so there’s no surprise that it works well here, it’s also a great source of Vitamin B6. Choc orange is one of my favourite flavour combos soI  was very happy with this one. Sometimes fruit-based chocolate orange bars end up tasting really fake but not in this case, it has just the right balance of choc and natural tasting orange flavour.

The cranberry crush is delightfully tangy! Cranberries are a great fruit to eat – they contain phyto-nutrients and are also a great protection against inflammatory diseases and urinary tract infections – added bonus!

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All the BoosT bars also contain the quickly and easily digested carbohydrate, Maltodextrin. This helps the body to synthesise proteins which means post-workout they’re also great!

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The EndurO bars are a great option to add a bit more protein and I prefer to have these if I’m reaching for a mid afternoon or morning snack as it’s a more sustained energy release and leaves me feeling fuller. They’re still low cal which is fab. They’re all full of nuts and seeds which means they are packed with good fats and proteins. The hazelnut was my favourite but the others are really delicious too. I had the Brazil nut carnival one with a coffee yesterday afternoon and it was perfect for filling me up.

IMG_1740 The FrooT bars are fab! refreshing and light and nice and tangy. Even the pear and ginger – which to be honest I didn’t think I’d like, I really enjoyed! It has pineapple in it too which really rounds out the flavour and I think this is what does it for me. The berry burst is my favourite of this bunch as it’s really tart and sweet at the same time and packed with gojis and cranberries so a great vitamin C boost too. The tropical bliss is lovely – pineapple, mango and apple – what a combo! These make great snacks on a hot day. Both of these also contain gluten free oats to give an extra boost.

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I definitely recommend you get your paws on some of these and practice a bit of safe snacking! 🙂  I’m doing the Prudential Ride100 event in two weeks time and I’ll definitely have a couple of these packed in my bike bag to keep me going! You can buy these in local health food shops (those of you in my area of the UK in surrey can get them at the health food shop in Surbiton for example), in gym cafe’s and you can buy them directly from ZooT themselves (see here) or from Amazon.

Peanut butter and blueberry n’ice cream


Nothing beats a nice cold, creamy ice cream on a warm afternoon and this combo works so well together. If you’ve got bananas already frozen this only takes a few minutes to make! 🙂

Freeze your bananas ready diced – it makes blending them easier. Freeze for a few hours, ideally overnight if you can. They will stick together so give them a bash before you blend. If your blender can’t handle them then try blitzing in short pulses or add a very small amount of non-dairy milk,  but the juice from the blueberries will help anyway 🙂

You will need:

4 or so frozen bananas

1 cup blueberries or berries of your choice

1 – 2 tbsp peanut butter

Take half the bananas and pop in to a high speed blender / vitamix with the blueberries and blitz until smooth. It will melt fast so pop in freezer once done while you make the peanut butter one.

Take the other half of the bananas and 1 tbsp peanut butter and blitz. This will be thicker so you may need a small dash of milk. Once blended have a taste and add more peanut butter if you want. Blitz.

Serve together 🙂

If you want to keep it for later pop in the freezer – ideally in ice cube trays then pop out and re-blend briefly to eat (this breaks up the ice crystals that may have formed).